Afghanistan on Sunday began exports to India through the Chabahar port in Iran. This is the first time Afghanistan has exported goods to India bypassing the Pakistan route, The Indian Express reported.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flagged off the first consignment of exports. Twenty-three trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products were dispatched from the western Afghan city of Zaranj to Chabahar in Iran, Reuters reported. The consignment will be shipped from Chabahar to Mumbai.
“Chabahar port is the result of healthy cooperation between India, Iran and Afghanistan. This will ensure economic growth,” Ghani said while inaugurating the new route. He asserted that Afghanistan’s exports will increase from $1 billion to $2 billion after the opening of the route, ToloNews reported. Ghani said the port will help Afghanistan transform from an importer country into an exporter country.
Indian envoy to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar said at the ceremony that Kabul’s exports to New Delhi have risen by 40% ever since an air corridor was launched between the two capitals.
In December, an Indian company opened its office and took over operations at the Shaheed Behesti Port at Chabahar. The India Ports Global Limited company took over operations after officials from the three countries agreed on the trade routes and transit corridors. The trade routes will completely bypass Pakistan.